What is the origin of the name Haunted Canyon in Arizona?

Mike Walborn
Tempe, Arizona

I call it one of those obvious place names: Haunted Canyon, which is located east of Phoenix, not far from Globe, was supposed to be haunted.

According to an August 1891 article in the Arizona Enterprise, a man named Pete Gann camped in the canyon during a monsoon that was so fierce, the boulders and rocks were rockin’ and rollin’ (my words, not his). He decided the place was haunted, and that’s how it got its name.

Many think that whole range is haunted. Superstition Mountain got its name because the Pima believed the place was bad medicine—anybody who went in there never returned. Actually, the Apache who lived in that area tended to ambush folks who went in there, thus ending the possibility of a round trip.

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